Sunday, 5 January 2020

My last encounter with ecclesiastical fame. YOU'LL KNOW THIS NAME!

So, I've told you about Bishop Tompkins, Dr. Visser 't Hooft, and Archbishop Bloom.  They might as well be ancient history!

The best was yet to come.

Before I get to the juicy bit,  you will remember that due to the oddities of the Church of England I met my sponsoring Bishop (Tompkins) only once.

The same was true of the Bishop who ordained me as Deacon in June 1976.  Oliver Tompkins had retired and the new Bishop was John Tinsley.

The one and only time we met was when he ordained me to the Diaconate.   The Universe intervened, so that after this ordination I made my way to serve a parish in the U.S.A. 

(My move to the U.S.A, in 1976, and my naturalization in 1984 changed my life for the good.  I am grateful.  Never forget when you met me that I am an immigrant!)

NOW the juicy bit  -  which still brings tears to my eyes.

'Twas in about 2002/2003 that one day I was having lunch with my friend and colleague the Revd. Dr. Andrew McGowan  at the now closed Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was there as a visiting fellow. He walked into the Refectory. I asked Andrew McGowan if he would introduce me to Bishop Tutu,  which he gladly did.

Archbishop Tutu and I engaged in some small talk.  After all, what do you say to a hero of the anti-apartheid movement?

Well , having not much to say, I dropped to my knees and asked  "Archbishop, would you give me your blessing?.

That he did.  I stood up.  Archbishop Tutu dropped to his knees and said  "Father (Povey) please give me your blessing".

Now do you understand why this particular brush with ecclesiastical fame brings tears to my eyes, even as I write this blog?

The Archbishop of courage, grace and Jesus.

Bishop Tinsley who ordained me, even though he did not know me!








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